You know, sometimes a new encounter triggers the release of a myriad of memories that have been lodged in the corners of your mind since … well … since they happened. This happened to me the other day. I forgot how much of an influence my grandfather, Arnold, had when it comes to my love of Carnival. I remember being a little girl and being told the stories of what he saw when he went to Peter Minshall’s band launch, to choose his costume.
Everything always seemed like such a big deal. And it was. Costume collection was especially noteworthy. I would wait to get a peak of the treasure as it was placed in the room downstairs where it would sit, not to be touched, until Carnival Monday.
And when that said Monday arrived, Grandad would rise before the sun and begin his dance in preparation for the Great stage. His boots. The standard. The Costume. Everything meticulously put on in anticipation of the Mas. And as his taxi drive off, leaving me behind in San Fernando, I was always mesmerized that he was to be a part of something that seemed so majestic to me. Then and now.
I would then spend all of Monday and Tuesday scouring the television screen for a glimpse of my Grandad, squealing with euphoria when I actually did. When Grandad returned, with an exhaustion that seemed to drain his body yet fuel his soul, his eyes would be bright with the stories of Carnival day in Port of Spain. He’d let me play with the bits and bobs from his costume and wave his standard and show me how to chip, while humming the song he liked the most that year. “One day you will play Mas but first you have to study your books!” he’d say. To date, I’m proud to say that I’ve done both.
These are the memories that I conjured when I popped into the opening of #Riddim, the 2017 presentation for The Lost Tribe. The flowing fabrics. The standard!!!!! I thought of him and those moment so much. I thought of my Mummy too, who I lost this January. She would have loved the costumes! We may have played together for the first time, who knows.
I could go on and on about the who’s and the what’s of the band’s second theme and it’s designers and overall desired aesthetic. But the other bloggers have done that. But instead to Anya, Valmiki, JP and Shari (my friends are cooler than yours!) I’ll say this …
Thank you for the memories.
Thank you for the colour.
Thank you for creating something different.
Thank for you valuing all our many cultures in your quest for creativity on the road.
Thank you for allowing me to wine on the pavement on a Friday in July!
Here are a few snaps of the evening!